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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2128

News

World Bank pledges continuous support to Sri Lankan peace process

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Colombo, 20 May, (Asiantribune.com): The World Bank (WB) has pledged its continuous support to the Sri Lankan peace process, the country's enhanced economic growth, and the harnessing of community empowerment and local initiative for poverty reduction. This was intimated to President Mahinda Rajapakse and the Government's chief peace negotiator Nimal Siripala de Silva by Praful Patel, Regional Vice President of the World Bank for South Asia at a meeting this week. Patel, who ended a three-day visit to the country yesterday emphasized that the Bank's interest in Sri Lanka achieving peace was not political but rather a relationship to the prospects for sustainable development and poverty reduction

Bangladesh: Kuwait emir arrives next month

Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah will visit Bangladesh next month at the invitation of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. The Emir's visit is taking place less than a month of the Prime Minister's official visit to Kuwait on May 7-8. The Emir is expected to lead an 80-member high-power delegation, which will include all the important cabinet ministers, Foreign Minister Morshed Khan told the diplomatic correspondents.

UNDP constructs over 200 houses for the tsunami victims of Sri Lanka

Sunil C. Perera, Reporting from Colombo

The United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] said that it has planned to handover 236 housing units for the tsunami victims who lost their houses in the 2004 Asian tsunami. UNDP spokesman Sanaka Samarasinha says these houses have been built in Galle, Moratuwa, Kuchchaveli and Point Pedro.The total expenditure exceeds US$ four million.

SLMM Chief leaves for Norway to attend crucial meeting

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Head Ulf Henricsson will leave for Norway today (Saturday) to take part in a meeting, which will be attended by the five nations, which contributes to the Mission. The Mission's Spokesperson Helen Olafsdottir told the “Asian Tribune”that the meeting which would be attended by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden will be a 'regular meeting' where the ground situation in Sri Lanka would be discussed and internal matters concerning the Mission will be taken up.

Bangladesh Biman suspected as 'alien' at New York

State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Fakhrul Islam Alamgir Thursday said the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) did not allow the Bangladesh Biman flight in New York as they suspected it as an alien flight similar to that like the evil-fated 9/11. At a press briefing held at the PID auditorium, the state minister said they were discussing with the US lawyers for demanding compensation from the FAA. But the assessment in this regard was yet to be completed.

High powered Chinese delegation in Sri Lanka to explore investment and business climate

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Colombo, 20 May, (Asiantribune.com): In a bid to explore business opportunities and joint ventures in Sri Lanka, a high powered Chinese Trade Delegation comprising of 13 members of the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) led by Yu Ping, Vice Chairman, CCP has met a delegation of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) last week. The Chinese delegation was interested to have a good understanding of the investment climate and investment incentives available to foreign investors in Sri Lanka. FCCISL and CCPIT meeting at FCCISL office signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in providing information and consultation services, receiving visiting groups from the either country, organizing member enterprises to attend large scale economic and trade activities held in two countries and annual mutual visits for high-level personnel to discuss mutual trade matters.

Crisis in Karen State, Burma, continues to escalate as thousands more face attacks

The Burma Army is continuing its attacks on civilians in Toungoo District, Karen State, Burma, as it appears poised to unleash a fresh offensive against civilians in Papun District. Tens of thousands more could be displaced. The total number of Karen people displaced in Western, Northern and North-western Karen State is now over 16,000, according to the Free Burma Rangers.

Indian Air Force revitalizing up for long-range engagements: Tyagi

From: Raymond R Kharmujai – Asian Tribune

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is gearing up for long-range engagements in air, while considering India's long term security needs, said the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi. "Our aim is not to engage in inter-continental warfare. But we do want to increase our operational capabilities to longer distances and we don’t wish to go and attack a different country”, Air Chief Marshal Tyagi stated

British High Commission in Colombo declares 'traveling to Sri Lanka safe'

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Colombo, 20 May, (Asiantribune.com): The British High Commission in Sri Lanka has emphasized that their country has not enforced a travel ban against their citizens traveling here to Sri Lanka, but has only cautioned their nationals against traveling to the North and East unless the trip was 'entirely essential'. Addressing a news conference in Colombo yesterday, John Culley, the High Commission's Second Secretary in charge of political and public diplomacy disclosed that on an average about 100,000 British nationals travel to Sri Lanka for holiday, business and other purposes and this number is growing.

Pak rejects Karzai’s charges of backing insurgency

By Iqbal Hussain Khan Yousafzai – Reporting from Islamabad

Pakistan on Friday rejected allegations by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that it was training militants for violence and infiltrating them into Afghanistan. Karzai blamed Pakistan on Thursday after some of the fiercest fighting in Afghanistan since the former Taliban regime was toppled in a U.S.-led invasion in 2001 for sheltering Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. "There is no truth in this," Pakistani foreign office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.

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